Do Dogs Need Clothes?

Some of my friends have dogs that are fluffy and don’t wear sweaters or rain coats during the winter and some other friends of mine dress their dogs in everything from vests to seat jackets and little hats. I’ve also heard friends talk about how the pet product industry markets in a certain way to make us think our dogs need clothing.

Do Dogs Need Clothes?

While some dogs might not ever shiver or shake after a winter outing, others may come inside and need to be towel dried and warmed up. Sure most dogs have a layer of fur but some dogs have light layers and aren’t made to endure cold weather. Some may have good fur coverage on their backs and face but their belly might be exposed and get soaked while walking through the snow. Imagine if you walked about with full winter gear but then had flip flops on your feet, you’d have cold cold feet but might feel warm and dry everywhere else; that’s still uncomfortable and no fun.

A sweater or jacket can be helpful during the cold seasons, especially if your dog is hesitant to go outside to relieve himself. How warm your dog is able to physically keep himself depends on breed, size and age. Smaller breeds that naturally have very short or thin hair coats benefit from a warm dog sweater. Dogs that have short-cropped hair should also be given a sweater, as well as, older dogs with weaker immune systems and dogs with diseases that impair hair growth. If your dog is a breed that keeps a short hair cut, like a poodle, a sweater is a great idea too. However, dogs with dense hair coats could be very uncomfortable if they were forced to wear outer clothing, possibly to the point of physically overheating.

Did you get your dog a sweater or jacket for this winter?

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